Archive for category Ottolenghi

Ottolenghi

I haven’t cooked Ottolenghi recipes all of last week! However, as his recipes will be featuring a lot on the blog, I’ve decided to shed some light on this chef and his fail-proof recipes. I was first drawn to Yotam Ottolenghi’s weekly column called The New Vegetarian for the Saturday edition of the UK newspaper, the Guardian. I initially found his combination of ingredients quite intriguing and I imagined the final taste would never suit my palate, but all of this was proved wrong when I successfully recreated Kosheri, an Egyptian lentil and rice dish, with a spicy tomato sauce. Following that I plated up these dishes again, for my friend Mona and explained my fascination with this chef. Mona, being a Londoner, said that an apt thank you for that night’s dinner would be treating me to lunch at Ottolenghi’s (Ottolenghi runs a few restaurants and take-aways in London). And, I’m so grateful to Mona for taking me there. The food in my opinion is the best I’ve eaten in a restaurant in the UK and the food display is both exquisite as it is exciting. What’s more, Mona also gifted me a signed copy of Ottolenghi – The Cookbook and every one of those recipes is a winner. I haven’t tried all of them, but having tried over a score of them, I’m certain that any  of the recipes would turn out well.

Apart from emphasizing the use of the freshest ingredients, Ottolenghi’s food is characterized by a lot of unusual pairings of flavours and seasonings,a definite influence of his Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean food heritage. A lot of weight is placed on presentation and the finished preparation always ends up in a vivid display of colours. The recipes are very easy to recreate here in the UK owing to the ready availability of the ingredients. More importantly, after attempting many of the recipes, I have grown in confidence with mixing flavours that I previously wouldn’t have and getting more adventurous with what I eat. The cherry on the icing on the cake is that Ottolenghi’s food is HEALTHY as it is flavourful!

And, now for what we’ve been eating since last Sunday…

Sunday – October 3, 2010

DINNER

Thai Noodle Soup

Recipe adapted from Nigella’s Kitchen (the program will only be viewable to those living in the UK).

***I used the left-over beef stock from the pulled beef I had made earlier in the week and some left-over fish instead of chicken.***

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

FOR THE NEIGHBOURS AND NEW ACQUAINTANCES

Watermelon Jam

Recipe adapted from here via the Tastepotting website.

***The finished product unexpectedly tastes a bit like Halwa! I may add some more lemon juice the next time I make a batch and also add some hibiscus and rose flower petals.***

DINNER

Chicken in a coconut-milk stew with rice-flour dumplings

Recipe adapted from Recipes for All Occasions (B.F.Varughese)

***A bit of Keralite comfort food – a spicy chicken-coconut milk stew with rice-flour dumplings. First the chicken stew is made and towards the end of the cooking process the dumplings are dropped in. The dumplings are made by mixing a cup hot water with a cup of rice flour which has been seasoned with salt and pinch of powdered cumin. The mixture can then be rolled into lime sized balls to be dropped into the stew. Let’s say it’s an easy preparation for the more seasoned of cooks.***

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Thursday, October 7 2010

DINNER

Watermelon, Feta and Kalamata Olive Salad

Another one of Nigella Lawson’s recipes adapted from here.

***I used Kalamata olives as I prefer these to regular black olives. I also used a mixture of baby salad leaves and coriander and parsley. I forgot to buy the mint leaves 😦 and I think that addition would have made the salad even more refreshing.***

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Saturday, October 10, 2010

LUNCH

STARTER - Fish baked in brown paper parcels

Recipe adapted from The Suriani Kitchen by Lathika George.

***The original recipe calls for wrapping the fish in banana leaves and cooking it in a mannu chatti (mud pot) over a flame. While I have a mud pod I ended up cooking the fish, slathered with a spice paste, in brown paper parcels on a tray in the oven, because it was more convenient.***

MAIN COURSE - Prawn Biryani

Recipe adapted from The Suriani Kitchen by Lathika George.

***A prawn gravy was made first, then mixed with basmati rice and water and cooked over low temperature until the rice had absorbed all the liquids and was entirely cooked. The dish is garnished with browned onions and cashew nuts. I served this with a cucumber raita.***

DESSERT

A filling of whipped cream and strawberries

Meringue, cake, whipped cream, strawberries, cake and meringue studded with almonds

 

 

 

Another view of the finished product - Strawberry Meringue Cake

 

Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Lemon Meringue Cake from Feast.

***I added the zest of one lemon to the cake mixture and replaced the lemon curd for the filling with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. I also add almond flakes on the upper layer of the meringue as suggested in the recipe for Strawberry Meringue Cake from Forever Summer.

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Sunday, October 11, 2010

BRUNCH

 

Brunch at Bacchus Bistro

***Abhi hurriedly finishes up a plate of poached eggs with hollandaise sauce served on freshly toasted muffins with bacon and hash browns while Yohann lets out little screams for us to exit the restaurant. ***

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Copyright Issues and Recipes

Since my first post, I’ve received a few requests for the recipes to be posted on the blog. However, having considered this suggestion and done my bit of research, I’ve decided I will not be doing so. Firstly, the recipes I tried out last week aren’t my own and I don’t want to run into copyright issues by featuring them on this blog. Secondly, while I did adapt the recipes to my own taste and depending on the availability of ingredients, it should be okay for me to post the adapted recipes; however, this would take more of my time and I just can’t devote that sort of time to the blog right now. So if you are interested in a particular recipe, get in touch with me at preeya(nospace)josef_at_yahoo_dot_co_dot_in and I will be very happy to share the recipe with you. In some cases the recipes are also available online so I could direct you to the appropriate website. If I do get inventive and concoct a totally new recipe I will try and share it, but that would be quite challenging as I hardly follow precise measures when I cook like this! I also understand it can be hard to decipher the ingredients included in a preparation from a picture and an exotic name, so I will provide short descriptions.

I hope these changes make for a better reading experience. Please do let me know and don’t be afraid to post comments, even critical ones. 🙂

Sunday – September 26, 2010

DINNER

Yaki Ramen

Recipe adapted from the Wagamama cookbook

***This is basically a stir-fry of chicken, vegetable and Chinese noodles (Ramen). The original recipe calls for Soba noodles, but I only had Ramen, hence Yaki Ramen!***

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Monday – September 27, 2010

DINNER

Sweet and Sour Celeriac and Carrot on a bed of baby leaves with Mozzarella Pearls

Recipe adapted from Yottam Ottolenghi and Sam Tamimi’s Ottolenghi

***Basically a salad comprising shredded root vegetables that have been massaged with a dressing and left to marinate for at least an hour. Finally served on a bed of baby salad leaves with a few pearls of mozzarella.***

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Tuesday – September 28, 2010

DINNER

A salad of Strawberries, Arugula and White Stilton with Apricot

Recipe adapted from this one on the Saveur website

***A salad of strawberries, raspberries, rocket, almonds and White Stilton (cheese) with apricot***

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Thursday – September 30, 2010

DINNER

Mexican Pulled Beef Salad

Recipe adapted from this one on the Saveur website

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Friday – October 1, 2010

DINNER

Steamed Fish in Soya Sauce

Recipe adapted from here

***I used Cod and it tasted just fine. The dish goes well with plain white rice***

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Saturday – October 2, 2010

BRUNCH

Oriental Salad - I had this.

and Abhi had this - preserved meat platter with a fresh baguette and side salad.

at Cafe du Jour

DINNER

Mexican Seafood Cocktail

Fish Tacos

Recipes adapted from here and here on the Saveur website

***I couldn’t get hold of the different Mexican chillies so I used Jalapeno, which is Mexican too and readily available. Incidentally, I’ve also found a Mexican store (Otomi) here in Bristol that sells Chipotles, Anchos and the like and I will head there before I attempt these recipes again or other Mexican ones.***

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Sunday- October 3, 2010

LUNCH

South Canara Chicken Biryani (Karnataka)

Recipe adapted from Pratibha Karan’s Biryani

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My foray into photo-blogging

I’m a first time mom and I’ve decided to stay at home for the next few months looking after my dear little son. While I’m taken up with his cooing and tumbling and totally squish-able smiles, I also have this pressing urge to be creative. I’ve always striven to be creative in the kitchen and I think the kitchen is proving to be the perfect platform for me express this need, at this point in my life. So this blog is about capturing my efforts in the kitchen.

My husband and I are total foodies, and in the past, in order to satisfy our gargantuan appetite we’ve eaten huge quantities of what qualifies as junk food (fast food, confectionery etc.). For this reason, I also want this blog to serve as a food diary; I think this would make me more conscious of what I’m plating up at the dinner table and work to check the food habits I’m inculcating at home. As for the dishes I prepare, I may not always have the time to go into the nitty gritties of the process, but I will try my best to blog the finished effort in pictures, from Sunday to Sunday. I hope you enjoy this food journey with me!

Sunday – September 19, 2010

LUNCH

Oriental Noodle Salad

Recipe adapted from Tamasin Day Lewis’ Good Tempered Food

DINNER

Figs with Young Pecorino and Honey

Recipe adapted from Yottam Ottolenghi and Sam Tamimi’s Ottolenghi

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Monday – September 20, 2010

LUNCH

Uncle Ben's Sweet and Sour sauce with Chicken and Vegetables on a bed of rice and watercress

DINNER

Chargrilled Asparagus, Courgette and Halloumi

Recipe adapted from Yottam Ottolenghi and Sam Tamimi’s Ottolenghi

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Tuesday – September 21, 2010

Spiced Vegetable stir fry

DINNER

Recipe adapted from the Wagamama cookbook

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Thursday – September 23, 2010

FOR THE LARDER

Papaya Chutney

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Friday – September 24, 2010

DINNER

Kisir

Adapted from Ottolenghi’s new book Plenty

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Saturday – September 25, 2010

BRUNCH

Abhi waits for his Full English Breakfast at a small cafe in Clifton village

DINNER

Moroccan Harissa Chicken

Take-away from the specialty store Cook

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Sunday – September 26, 2010

LUNCH

Egg Biryani (Tamil Nadu)

Recipe adapted from Pratibha Karan’s Biryani



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